Health

When the Delta crew asked if there was a doctor on board, they got a yes — from the surgeon general

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When Delta cabin crew on a flight from Atlanta to Jackson, Miss., asked whether a doctor was on board, they probably weren’t expecting to get help from “America’s Doctor.”

But Surgeon General Jerome Adams, who was aboard the flight, eagerly answered the call on Wednesday.

“On my Delta flight to Jackson, Mississippi (by way of Atlanta), and they asked if there was a doctor on board to help with a medical emergency – why yes – yes there was,” he said, posting a selfie on Twitter. “Patient doing well and like a good USPHS officer, I was glad to be able to assist!”

The USPHS stands for the United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, a division of the federal government’s health agency.

Adams did not disclose what type of care he provided to the passenger. Flight crew will issue a request for a doctor when passengers face a medical emergency, which can range from a heart attack, stroke or panic attack, or to administer an injection. According to a 2013 study in New England Journal of Medicine, medical emergencies happen in about 1 out of 600 commercial flights.

The surgeon general is an anesthesiologist by training and was health commissioner in Indiana before taking on his current role, in which he has been a vocal advocate on preventing and treating opioid addictions.

On Thursday he scheduled to visit the University of Mississippi Medical Center with Republican Gov. Phil Bryant to discuss what steps the administration is taking to combat the opioid crisis.

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